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200 Asylum Seekers Arrive On Christmas Island

200 Asylum Seekers Arrive On Christmas Island - 'Pacific Solution' Report

Sydney, August 10, 2012 - More than 200 asylum seekers arrived at Christmas Island today as Australia's Defence Department says the Navy vessels charged with picking them up are starting to crack - literally - under the strain.

Defence has ordered a review of the Armidale Class patrol boats fleet after several of them were found to have developed cracks near the engine room.

The Navy operates 14 Armidale Class boats, which go to the aid of asylum seekers and bring them to Christmas Island for processing.

Overnight 211 asylum seekers were taken to Christmas Island on two Navy boats after they called Australian authorities saying their boat had engine problems.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the group is made up of Sri Lankans, Iranians, Afghans and Pakistanis.

The boat intercepted overnight represents the largest number of people to arrive on a single boat under the Rudd and Gillard governments, and more than 7000 people have now arrived by boat this year.

Read Professor Wendy Bacon's 'Pacific Solution' timeline inquiry series on asylum seekers:
Part 1: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/articles/australias-pacific-solution-asylum-seekers-timeline
Part 2: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/articles/australias-pacific-solution-asylum-seekers-nauru-anguish

ENDS

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